3 major additions to East River

Boutique grocery, Austin ice cream, and upscale dentist join massive Fifth Ward mixed-use development

Boutique grocery, Austin ice cream, and dentist join Houston mixed-use

Lick Ice Creams
Get a taste of Lick Honest Ice Creams. Photo by Annie Ray
East River Phase One retail rendering
Phase one will open in 2023. Courtesy of Midway
StarChefs Jonny Rhodes Indigo ash-aged potatoes
Jonny Rhodes will open Broham Fine Soul Foods at East River. Courtesy of StarChefs
Lick Ice Creams
East River Phase One retail rendering
StarChefs Jonny Rhodes Indigo ash-aged potatoes

The Fifth Ward's massive mixed-use development is taking shape with the announcement of three high profile tenants. Midway announced that it has added Broham Fine Soul Food & Groceries, Lick Honest Ice Creams, and URBN Dental to East River, its massive project that's currently under construction along Buffalo Bayou near the intersection of Jensen Drive and Clinton Drive.

Slated to open in 2023, all three businesses will be located in the first phase of the project, which will cover 26 of the development's 150 acres. They'll join a 360-unit apartment building, office space, and a shopping district with a 13,000-square-foot greenspace.  

Broham Fine Soul Food & Groceries is a grocery and market concept from chef Jonny Rhodes. Launched last year alongside his restaurant Indigo, the new Broham will offer an even extensive selection of prepared and cured items, freshly baked breads and pastries, locally sourced meat, seafood, and produce, and more.   

Broham builds upon the mission Rhodes started at Indigo, the neo-soul food restaurant where he earned a James Beard semifinalist nomination and national recognition from publications such as Texas Monthly, Eater, GQ, and Food & Wine. Time magazine included it as one of only seven American restaurants on its list of the World's Greatest Places for 2019.

Ultimately, the chef closed Indigo earlier this year to focus on growing both Broham and Food Fight Farms, his farm in Cleveland, Texas. Having a permanent facility will allow the concept to expand its inventory and reward frequent shoppers with perks such as discounts, farm tours, and access to specialty ingredients. 

As for Lick, East River is the first announced Houston location for the Austin-based ice cream shop (a representative declined to comment on whether the company has plans for others). Known for making seasonal flavors with ingredients from Texas farms, all of Lick's ice creams are soy-free, palm oil-free, and preservative-free. CultureMap San Antonio described the scoop shop's approach as follows:

Although known for using unconventional ingredients like cilantro and beets, Lick has plenty of approachable flavors for the whole family like milk chocolate, honey and vanilla bean, and horchata. But the seasonal menus are where Lick really stretches its creative muscles with innovative scoops like honeyed peaches with rosemary; dewberry corn cobbler; and zesty blackberry, lime, and basil.

Finally, URBN Dental describes itself as "Houston’s premiere BPA-Free, BisGMA-free, eco-friendly, and green conscious dental office." Patients turn to it for preventative care, emergency procedures, and cosmetic treatments such as teeth straightening and whitening. The office uses digital technology that's designed to be less invasive and uncomfortable than traditional practices.

Amenities such as free Wi-Fi and complimentary snacks make visits less stressful. East River will join URBN Dental's existing locations in River Oaks and Midtown; it also plans to open offices in Montrose and The Heights next year. 

Previously, Midway announced that East River will be home to a nine-hole golf course and companion restaurant that's scheduled to open in 2022.